Bougie on a budget: How to do Tuscany for cheap
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card
We here at TPG love a good deal — more than that, we love a good deal on a spendy location. Today we’re looking at Tuscany, the world-famous wine region in Italy that’s inspired one love story after another.
While Tuscany is rife with rich hotels and boutique B&Bs, you’ve got a variety of options for high-end hotels on a budget. First, the Renaissance Tuscany Il Ciocco Resort & Spa is a gorgeous Marriott property that sits at Category 4, which makes this hotel cost just 30,000 points/night.
With Marriott’s easy-to-earn award points and portfolio of co-branded credit cards, snagging a stay here is easily obtainable. For maximum bang for your buck, the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card is offering 100,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
If you’re a Hilton fan, the Hilton Florence Metropole is a steal at 40,000 points/night. With views of the duomo and an executive lounge for Diamond members, the property is a great way to stretch your points. If you don’t already have status, the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire card is my personal favorite for achieving elite status on the cheap.
The information for the Hilton Aspire Amex card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Finally, if you’re a Hyatt loyalist you’ll be pleased to know that the chain’s partnership with SLH has resulted in several properties throughout Tuscany. Most sit at a Category 6, but the Villa Le Maschere is a fabulous country house just outside of Florence slated at Category 5 (for 20,000 points/night). Considering Hyatt is a 1:1 transfer partner with Chase, your Ultimate Rewards will go far here.
While you aren’t going to find nonstop fares to Florence, you can routinely find one-stop deals for under $500.
However, if you’re looking to spend no money at all, you’re in luck. Nearly every major carrier and low-budget airline routes through Europe, which means that if you’ve got points to burn with Star Alliance, Skyteam or Oneworld, you can maximize your miles on a flight to Europe and connect onward to Florence for cheap (or even free).
Saver business-class awards to Europe are not terribly hard to come by and cost just 57,500 AAdvantage miles, plus $5.60 each way. You can earn nearly this number of miles with a single credit card sign-up bonus, such as the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®, which is currently offering 50,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 within the first three months of account opening.
My favorite technique is to use Avianca LifeMiles (transferred from Capital One, Citi and American Express), to book flights across the ocean for 30,000 miles (63,000 in business class). Avianca, though one of the lesser-known Star Alliance members, frequently offers phenomenal deals on purchased miles and doesn’t add on fuel surcharges, which makes it my go-to airline for spending as little money as possible.
Even better, Avianca doesn’t differentiate between the east coast and west coast when booking awards, which means I can snag a flight from Los Angeles as easily as I can from New York, with no difference in cost.
It’s a hard-knock life for us rich resort wannabes, but luckily options abound in Italy’s Tuscan region for the frugal-minded. Take advantage of low-cost flights and hotels without sacrificing style so you can be bougie on a budget.
Feature photo courtesy of Klaus Stebani/Pixabay.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card in your first three months of card membership. Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
- Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at US restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
- Accelerate your path to Medallion Status, with Status Boost®. Plus, in 2021 you can earn even more bonus Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) to help you reach Medallion Status.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees